China

There Is No China Crisis

Unless we cause one by overreacting to Asia's changing political and economic landscape

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The United States has a long and distinguished history of freaking out about powerful rival nations. When countries even begin to approach the United States in economic might, the political reaction often borders on the hysterical. At the height of the Cold War, high rates of Soviet gross domestic product (GDP) growth caused policy makers to fret that the USSR's centrally planned economy would outperform American capitalism. Members of Congress reacted with their usual aplomb, tolerating the rise of McCarthyism and the blacklisting of suspected communists in the arts. Sputnik triggered a similar panic about whether the United States was losing the space race to a communist foe.

A few decades later, the Japanese were the source of anxiety. After four decades of rapid growth, they seemed poised to overtake the United States economically. A pallet of books with titles like Japan as Number One, The Enigma of Japanese Power, and The Japan That Can Say No caused Americans to panic again. A Cold War treaty ally was suddenly viewed as something different: a rival with a novel variety of capitalism, one relying on greater state intervention than ours, that was threatening American hegemony. Members of Congress continued to react in a calm and professional manner—for example, by smashing a Toshiba boombox on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol.

As it turned out, American fears of both countries were wildly overhyped. Decades of Soviet demographic decline and economic stagnation proved that the Stalinist system was not, in fact, terribly viable. Likewise for Japan: Decades of demographic decline and economic stagnation proved—you get the idea.

The current freakout is about China, and the parallels to past freakouts are striking. After two generations of rapid growth, the Middle Kingdom now has the second-largest economy in the world. Its 1.4 billion people already make it the largest import market for everything from crude oil to hair dryers to automobiles. It has been the most important engine of global economic growth since the 2008 financial crisis, and the debate among most private-sector analysts is whether its economy will overtake the United States in this decade or the next one.

The corresponding reaction from American officials has been predictable. For decades, successive U.S. administrations paved the way for China to enter the liberal economic order. The Trump administration has thrown away that welcome mat and blasted the notion that engagement was ever a good idea.

Whenever a Trump official gives a talk at the Hudson Institute, a China hawk gets its wings. In 2018 it was Vice President Mike Pence saying mournfully, "America had hoped that economic liberalization would bring China into greater partnership with us and with the world. Instead, China has chosen economic aggression, which has in turn emboldened its growing military." In 2019 it was Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's turn. "Frankly," he said, "we did an awful lot that accommodated China's rise in the hope that communist China would become more free, more market-driven, and ultimately, hopefully, more democratic." Alas, he concluded, "we didn't realize how China was evolving."

The Trump administration's "phase one" truce with China on trade, signed on January 15, belies a panoply of aggressive steps this administration has pursued to contain the People's Republic. These range from arresting a Huawei executive for espionage to blocking Chinese takeovers of U.S. firms to restricting visas for Chinese students interested in studying certain scientific fields in America to contemplating limits on Chinese firms' ability to raise capital in U.S. stock markets.

For all the talk about the politics of Washington being more polarized than ever, the bipartisanship of the new consensus about China is striking. If Democrats have opposed the Trump administration's actions, it is mostly because they think the actions haven't gone far enough. When Trump escalated the trade war with China in spring 2019, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer tweeted, "Don't back down. Strength is the only way to win with China."

China also generates strange bedfellows within Congress. A 2018 letter from 15 U.S. senators from both parties warned about the threat of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China's massive global infrastructure development venture. "The goal for BRI is the creation of an economic world order ultimately dominated by China," they asserted. At the Munich Security Conference in February, I heard no distinctions between Republican and Democratic members of Congress on the threat posed by China. Outside of government, the new Washington consensus has prompted a cottage industry of essays, reports, think pieces, and long-form journalism opining on What To Do About China.

Remember when I said that both the Soviet Union and Japan suffered from economic stagnation and demographic decline? There are good reasons to believe that China will be the next country in line. China's population crisis is already baked in: Sometime this year, the median age in the country will exceed that in the United States, and by 2040 senior citizens will comprise a greater portion of China's population than ours. To describe China as economically stagnant would be a gross exaggeration. Nonetheless, its growth rate has fallen by more than 50 percent in the last decade, and its productivity growth has fallen by far more than that over the past 25 years. It appears that China will get old before it gets rich. Yet the new Washington consensus is too panicked to observe these realities.

To be fair to the new conventional wisdom, it is not founded only on hysteria. A key premise of the old consensus was that engaging China would facilitate that country's transformation from a one-party dictatorship into a more open and liberal polity. The actual results have been…well, not that. The apparent failure of the previous narrative to play out as hoped has rattled many people's faith in the power of economic freedom to lead inexorably to political freedom.

Instead of classical liberal arguments about the pacifying effects of trade, the new consensus is replete with terms like predatory liberalism and weaponized interdependence. In the new narrative, China is an authoritarian state hell-bent on world domination; we must decouple the U.S. economy from China's in order to check Beijing's rise. The new consensus increasingly sounds like an update of the old containment doctrine, with China's brand of authoritarian capitalism replacing Soviet-style communism as the existential threat to the American way of life that must be confined to a limited sphere.

It's one thing to say that the old Washington consensus got China wrong. It's another thing entirely to conclude that the exact opposite approach is warranted—and let's be clear, that is what the Trump administration wants us to believe.

A proper U.S. strategy toward authoritarian capitalism in general and the Middle Kingdom in particular needs to appreciate the strengths and the weaknesses of the China model. Cold War hawks exaggerated Soviet capabilities, and today's China hawks do the same with the regime in Beijing. Even if one accepts that China poses a significant threat to the American way of life, the optimal response is far removed from the actual response we are witnessing today. Indeed, it seems as though much of the policy response to China is predicated on a loss of self-confidence by the United States. Debates about China are stalking horses for debates about what is wrong with America.

What We Got Wrong

The policy consensus that surrounded U.S. support for China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) has not aged well. In a March 2000 speech, President Bill Clinton overpromised just a wee bit when he claimed that "the more China liberalizes its economy, the more fully it will liberate the potential of its people—their initiative, their imagination, their remarkable spirit of enterprise. And when individuals have the power not just to dream but to realize their dreams, they will demand a greater say." Support for China's entry into the WTO was bipartisan; the Senate approved it 83–15.

What did policy makers get wrong? Back in the day, liberal internationalists made two arguments about why China's participation in the global economy was in America's national interest. First, if China traded more with the rest of the world, it would alter that country's domestic political character. Economic freedom within the People's Republic would increase, leading to more economic affluence. These factors would nudge China into the same political evolution that its Northeast Asian neighbors experienced: greater demands for the rule of law, followed by political liberalization. No policy maker believed this would happen overnight; the Clinton speech quoted above is chock-full of caveats. The overarching belief, however, was that over time China would start to resemble, say, South Korea.

The second argument was not about changing the character of Chinese politics but about altering the existing regime's incentives to disrupt the liberal international order. This logic was simple: The more that China needed the rest of the global economy to fuel its economic growth, the less Beijing would act like a "revisionist" state and the more it would act like a status quo power.

This was at the root of a decadelong call by the United States for China to be a "responsible stakeholder" in the system. As Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick suggested in the 2005 speech that coined that phrase, "China does not believe that its future depends on overturning the fundamental order of the international system. In fact, quite the reverse: Chinese leaders have decided that their success depends on being networked with the modern world." Indeed, the Chinese and American economies became so intertwined that in a 2007 paper, Harvard historian Niall Ferguson and University of Bonn economist Moritz Schularick dubbed them "Chimerica."

The new Washington consensus is predicated on the notion that the previous few paragraphs are so absurd that they should be laughed out of the discourse. It might be worth taking a moment, however, to consider exactly how the old Washington consensus got China wrong before concluding that the exact opposite approach is the way to go.

Increasingly Oppressive

Even Trump's biggest cheerleaders allow that the opening to China worked for a while. In his Hudson Institute speech, Vice President Pence acknowledged that "for a time, Beijing inched toward greater liberty and respect for human rights."

In terms of economic openness, China did more than inch. Whether you look at the Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom, the Fraser Institute's Economic Freedom Rankings, or one of various metrics from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the result is the same. In the late '90s and the early part of this century, China's economy was indeed liberalizing. Beginning around 2006, there was a decade of stagnation and reversal of reforms. But in the last few years, the country's economic freedom scores have again increased across the board.

The quality of China's free trade agreements with other countries has consistently improved in recent years. Even in the area of intellectual property rights, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Global Innovation Policy Center ranks China ahead of Chile and India and on par with Mexico. At the China Development Forum's fall meeting last year, I heard Chinese officials repeatedly brag about a new law permitting 100 percent foreign ownership of Chinese entities. It is possible that Beijing is simply gaming the system by making cosmetic policy changes to placate a business sector that desperately wants access to China's market.  Still, these metrics contrast sharply with Trump's depiction of China as a unique rogue actor in the global economy.

This part of the consensus was nonetheless wrong in two fundamental ways. The first was that the increase in economic liberty would spill over into an increase in political liberty. If anything, in China the two have been inversely correlated in recent years. The leadership in Beijing, it turns out, never wanted to follow the path of South Korea; they wanted to follow the path of Singapore, a city-state with copious amounts of economic freedom and very circumscribed politics.

The nonprofit Freedom House observed in 2019 that "China's authoritarian regime has become increasingly repressive in recent years"—and that sentence, if anything, undersells the depth of repression. During the last 10 years, the country shifted from a routinized form of authoritarian power transfer in which new leaders were appointed every decade to the lifetime leadership of Xi Jinping. The repression of ethnic Uighurs and Kazakhs in the western part of the country has been increasingly brutal and systematic. The erection of a massive network of internment facilities, prisons, and forced labor camps speaks to the regime's ruthlessness and deep illiberalism. According to The New York Times, President Xi explicitly urged his subordinates to use the "organs of dictatorship" to demonstrate "absolutely no mercy" to the Uighurs.

When Clinton advocated for China's entry into the WTO, he said, "We know how much the internet has changed America, and we are already an open society. Imagine how much it could change China." Unfortunately, it appears that the People's Republic has changed the internet rather than vice versa. There are a hundred different ways to prove China's digital authoritarianism: the country's online freedom plunging to a decade-low level, according to Freedom House; official efforts to create an Orwellian-sounding "social credit" system in which Chinese citizens would receive rewards and benefits for their public conduct; the massive expansion of the surveillance state; or the simple fact that far more Western news sites are blocked by China's censors in 2019 than were a decade earlier. Reports that China is exporting its surveillance regime to sympathetic allies have been somewhat exaggerated. To paraphrase John Quincy Adams, however, Xi's regime has become a fortress city on a hill, demonstrating to other aspiring autocrats its recipe for success.

The second mistake was in thinking that as Chinese citizens became more affluent and globally connected, they would become more classically liberal in their attitudes. Recent survey work conducted by Renmin University's National Survey Research Center suggests a more complex evolution of views. While China's young people are more tolerant of concepts like same-sex marriage than are their older neighbors, they hold more illiberal views on questions of race, religion, and human rights. Younger mainland Chinese are more supportive of authoritarianism than are older generations. And more affluent Chinese, those who can travel and access information beyond China's censors, express attitudes similar to their less affluent peers'. Journalist accounts suggest that they are hostile toward Hong Kong protesters as well, believing them to be suffering from "post-prosperity arrogance." Yet mainland reactions to Hong Kong are more varied than a lot of Western press coverage suggests.

The 1990s assumption that greater affluence and economic liberty would produce more political liberalization rested on a simple empirical regularity: That was the way things had worked in the past. And it might still work that way: The residents of Hong Kong have visibly demonstrated that even a taste of civil liberties makes people fight to preserve them. Still, it should be clear that waiting for the Chinese Communist Party to evolve is not a fast-acting recipe for good American foreign policy.

Weaponized Interdependence?

China's interdependence with the rest of the world has not been the pacific balm that liberals expected. Here, again, the old consensus did not get everything wrong. Traditionally, the rapid rise of a new "great power" triggered a hegemonic war. But as China has caught up to the United States, there has been no major hot conflict. Economic interdependence likely played a role in that.

The Chinese leadership is still rhetorically committed to an open global economy. Xi Jinping sounds more liberal than Donald Trump when he addresses the World Economic Forum. Even as Beijing has reciprocated U.S. protectionism during the bilateral trade war of the last two years, it has simultaneously lowered barriers with the rest of the world. Claims that the Belt and Road Initiative is entrapping countries into fealty to China have been dramatically overblown, to the point where even Xi Jinping acknowledged a need to rethink its branding. My own research suggests that if China is intending to upend the global economic order, it is doing so in a radically suboptimal manner. Harvard professor Iain Johnston knows more about China than I ever will, and he arrives at the same conclusion: When it comes to the global economy, China is not a revisionist state.

China's stakeholder status, however, has not prevented the country from gaming the system. Reports of forced technology transfer—the practice of requiring Western-owned factories in China to use advanced technology, which is then copied and/or stolen—are legion, representing a serious cost to U.S. firms. The country's cyberespionage, which was muted after a 2015 bilateral agreement with the United States, has flared up again during the Trump years. Beyond the economic realm, Beijing has adopted a more bellicose posture in its backyard. Even the most stalwart defenders of China's foreign policy acknowledge that it has been testing its limits in the South China and East China seas, making territorial claims on islands and waters and backing them up with a vigorous naval presence.

China has also taken a more active role in global governance, but not in the way U.S. policy makers anticipated. Name an important international organization, and the pattern has been the same during the Trump years: U.S. retreat matched by more active Chinese involvement. This is particularly true at the United Nations, where Chinese candidates have bested American candidates to head agencies such as the Food and Agriculture Organization. Chinese officials now run four of the 15 specialized U.N. agencies; the United States runs one. One former senior U.N. official described multiple agencies to me as "lost" to China. Beijing is aiming to control the World Intellectual Property Organization next. Each of these small victories permits Beijing to exert greater influence over agencies neglected by Washington. Instead of passively assimilating into the global community, the Chinese are looking to change it.

Beyond existing institutions, China has also created a panoply of new structures ranging from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to the BRI. These are designed to put Beijing at the center of new economic networks and to keep the United States on the outside looking in. Yes, China is acting like a stakeholder, but it wants greater say over the system as well.

The old consensus failed to recognize that as Chinese power increased, the country would be able to exploit that interdependence. As China's market size has grown, it has become less reliant on exports. Beijing is now more willing to throw its economic weight around, forcing multinational corporations to comply with official requests or face a cutoff in access to the Chinese market. Its recent flexing of market power has been so aggressive that Victor Cha and Andy Lim of the Center for Strategic and International Studies dubbed it "predatory liberalism."

If there was a crystallizing moment for the new Washington consensus on China, it was the National Basketball Association (NBA) fracas that played out last October. As the protests in Hong Kong heated up, Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey tweeted a message supporting the residents taking to the streets. The backlash from the Chinese government was predictable: All of the team's exhibition games were removed from Chinese television.

The backlash from the rest of the NBA was more disturbing. The initial response—from the league's commissioner, Adam Silver, to Brooklyn Nets owner Joseph Tsai to All-Star LeBron James—was to disown Morey for speaking up. As Cha and Lim explained in The Washington Quarterly, "the NBA cannot afford to lose the Chinese market with its emerging middle consumer class larger than the population of the United States." Seeing a U.S.-dominated sports league kowtow to an authoritarian government was a shock to basketball fans and the foreign policy community alike.

The NBA incident is only the most visible example. The Chinese government has successfully applied similar pressure to U.S. airlines and Hollywood producers. On human rights, Chinese diplomats also have become much more outspoken in recent years, threatening "countermeasures" in response to any criticism from foreign governments. China has grown much more comfortable with using sticks as well as carrots as part of its economic diplomacy.

The other flaw in the old consensus was a failure to appreciate that China might exploit its economic position to engage in further surveillance and coercion of other countries, a phenomenon that political scientists Henry Farrell and Abraham Newman have labeled "weaponized interdependence." This is what has triggered bipartisan anxiety about the role that the Chinese tech giant Huawei is playing in the development of 5G mobile networks across the globe.

As Secretary of State Mike Pompeo explained in December 2019, "Thanks to the way 5G networks are built, it's impossible to separate any one part of the network from another." Therefore, he declared, "it's critical that [allies] not give control of their critical infrastructure to Chinese tech giants like Huawei or ZTE." Similarly, in fall 2019, Sens. Chuck Schumer (D–N.Y.) and Tom Cotton (R–Ark.) jointly requested that U.S. intelligence officials investigate whether a Chinese smartphone app popular among teenagers poses a national security risk. "With over 110 million downloads in the U.S. alone," they wrote in a letter, "TikTok is a potential counterintelligence threat we cannot ignore."

A Counterproductive Response

The old consensus on China was flawed because it rested on a Whiggish narrative in which the arc of history bends toward free markets and liberal democracy. Such overconfidence was bolstered by America's unparalleled standing in the world a generation ago. The United States was the global hegemon, and it seemed like the rest of the world was copacetic with this fact. But free markets and civil liberties are the exceptions and not the rule in world history.

A little introspection and humility are good things for a policy making community. Unfortunately, the debate has lurched all the way into full-blown panic mode. The new Washington consensus is less about the souring of elite attitudes toward China and more about the souring of elite attitudes toward the United States. American intellectuals have gone from believing in the end of history to believing that history will bury us. Columnists opine that the U.S. needs to copy China's top-down tech strategies. Last summer, Foreign Affairs devoted 50 pages to what had happened to the American Century (hint: nothing good); in January, the same magazine ran a special section debating whether capitalism was doomed.

As one State Department official explained to me last spring, "The U.S. electorate lost faith in the global economic system." In November, Nils Gilman wrote at The American Interest that "if the proof of the economic pudding is in the eating, China seems to have been using a better cookbook over the last decade." The thought that dare not speak its name, the one underlying all of this anxiety, is that China's model of political economy might be superior to America's.

This anxiety has arguably led the Trump administration to respond to China in ways that are counterproductive. There clearly are areas of concern in dealing with the People's Republic—on human rights, on economic networks where China might achieve dominance, and on true challenges to our national security. These contentious issues require targeted measures and cooperation with allies to give the United States a strong bargaining position. The Trump administration has done the exact opposite.

In dealing with China, the president has linked issues that should be kept separate. He casually suggested trading the prosecution of a Huawei executive for trade concessions and told Xi Jinping he would stay quiet on Hong Kong so as not to disrupt trade negotiations. And the U.S. trade war has not been limited to China; Trump has hiked tariffs on every major economy. The result has been that China has expanded its global market share even as trade with the United States has declined, and even as China's human rights violations have continued apace. The success of U.S. efforts to block Huawei from participating in the construction of 5G networks has been limited at best. This is partly because Huawei has embedded itself so deeply in these networks, but it is also because the Trump administration's diplomacy has been so ham-fisted. Even many of our close allies trust Xi Jinping more than Donald Trump.

The actual trade negotiations with China proved nothing short of a fiasco. The Tax Foundation estimates that the Trump administration's aggregate tariff increases amount to "one of the largest tax increases in decades" and says that the costs of the trade war have already exceeded whatever benefits the 2017 tax bill was projected to produce for long-term growth. Moody's Analytics estimates just one year of the trade war shaved U.S. real GDP growth by three-tenths of a percent and cost almost 300,000 jobs. The "phase one" trade deal does nothing to challenge the elements of China's behavior that the new Washington consensus finds so objectionable. If anything, it does the opposite, creating a "managed trade" arrangement that flouts WTO rules and makes the Chinese government the guarantor of agricultural and energy purchases.

The lesson China has drawn is that it cannot and should not fully liberalize, lest it increase its vulnerability to reprises of the Trump administration's economic pressure. Little wonder that Chinese firms have ordered their foreign suppliers to reduce their reliance on U.S. components, enraging American firms that deal in microchips and biotech. The new Beijing consensus about the United States includes talk of "financial war." The Quincy Institute's Chas Freeman has concluded that "both countries are in the process of reconciling themselves to protracted confrontation based on real and imagined differences."

In U.S. history, only two historical examples parallel the decoupling scenario that the Trump administration envisages with China. The first is the Embargo Act of 1807, in which the United States sanctioned both Great Britain and France during the Napoleonic wars. It crippled the U.S. economy at the time, causing GDP to shrink by an estimated 5 percent. The second example is the imposition of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff of 1930, a choice that contributed to a two-thirds decline in global trade. (Oh, and to the Great Depression.)

The existing trade war has been damaging enough. A true decoupling from China, one that extended to capital markets and higher education, would produce a similar shock to our economy. A reverse migration of foreign-born scientists and technicians would reduce innovation in the United States while bolstering it in China.

What Makes America Great

U.S. fears have led to an overhyping of the communist regime's competence. One reason Beijing acceded to the phase one trade deal was to remedy a pork shortage of its own making.

Not only has China's economic growth slowed down; there is strong evidence that its officials have overstated its growth rate by more than two percentage points annually for the last 12 years. The country's total debt-to-GDP ratio now exceeds 300 percent, as continued fiscal stimulus has not yielded faster growth.

China's bungled reaction to the new coronavirus highlights how the regime's authoritarianism could sabotage its future. COVID-19 got out of control because local authorities in Wuhan ignored warnings from doctors. The city's mayor did not tell citizens what was happening in late December—when doing so could have halted the virus's spread—for fear of upsetting superiors in Beijing. Chinese authorities are now aggressively quarantining affected regions, but much of the damage has been done. Official data from February showed the sharpest monthly contraction in the country's economic activity on record.

For all the talk of China catching up to us technologically, a recent survey from Berkeley's Institute of East Asian Studies concluded that "the gap between the United States and China remains substantial." By China's own rankings, the country is still lagging in areas such as artificial intelligence research. Indeed, China's own illiberalism hampers its ability to catch up; U.S. researchers are better at international collaboration than their Chinese counterparts.

My Tufts colleague Michael Beckley says that Beijing's recent military assertiveness is coming not from strength but from weakness—from a "profound unease among the country's leaders, as they contend with their country's first sustained economic slowdown in a generation and can discern no end in sight." A surefire way to exacerbate Chinese bellicosity, Beckley notes, would be to close off the U.S. market to China.

Continuing to pursue a true break would harm both economies and worsen the security situation. U.S. policy makers need to restore their faith in the free enterprise system that made us the world's richest country in the first place and worry less about the Middle Kingdom.

There are areas in which the prospect of weaponized interdependence means that some negotiated decoupling will be necessary. In those arenas, however, the United States will need the cooperation of its allies—because otherwise, China is likely to be the one setting global standards in 5G and other technical areas. The U.S.-China Trade Policy Working Group, a collection of economists and lawyers from both sides of the Pacific, has put forward a framework for managing the relationship. As for coping with predatory liberalism, Adam Silver's change of tune in the face of a media firestorm shows that negative press attention is the best way to get U.S. firms to stop kowtowing to Chinese authorities.

As long as China's government acts in a repressive manner, there can and should be limits to the economic relationship. In winner-take-all sectors, prohibiting Chinese predatory practices makes sense. Yet the United States trades with allies that have similarly abysmal human rights records, from Honduras to Saudi Arabia. During the Cold War, we cooperated with the Soviet Union on arms control, space research, and other areas.

The Chinese state is brutal, but the answer is not to repudiate our commitment to openness. The United States can negotiate from strength with China—so long as policy makers in Washington remember what makes America great.

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  1. “The lesson China has drawn is that it cannot and should not fully liberalize, lest it increase its vulnerability to reprises of the Trump administration’s economic pressure.”

    The Chinese government is not liberalizing because of Trump? There is something both incredibly petty and incredibly arrogant about the premises behind that theory. To the extent that China has liberalized, it is so its leadership does rule an impoverished state, however they still intend to rule which is why they are still oppressive. Perhaps they would resist opening all the way up for reasons which have little to do with US policy is an idea that goes against the appeasement first ideology. Not to mention that the Chinese government’s standards are corrupting Western corporate institutions who do not want to lose the Chinese market for a principle.

    1. “The CCP is totalitarian because Orange Man Bad!”

      Instead of admitting that enriching the most powerful dictatorship in the world wasn’t the greatest idea, Reason has decided to double down on beclowning themselves by further shilling for Emperor Xi.

      It’s impressive. I didn’t think anyone could touch the beclowning of the NeoClowns. But you’ve done it.

      Bravo, Reason. Bravo.
      #LibertarianMoment

      1. Dan Drezner is a NeverTrumper so the blindness is ideological.

        Here’s an excellent analysis that appeared in Areo last week that puts the lie to the premise in the nonsense written above. It’s called “The Post-Pandemic Paradigm and Why China Has Won”.

        Two key illustrations demonstrating that China isn’t bumbling through these crises;

        “When the coronavirus pandemic exploded into life in the Chinese city of Wuhan in 2019, China barely blinked. When, in January, it became clear that the disease had reached all major Chinese cities and left no part of the country unscathed, China told WHO that there was “no evidence” of human–human transmission by the novel coronavirus, despite knowing this was false. In February, when the death toll began to spiral out of control and the horrifying human cost of coronavirus began to become clear, Chinese diplomats urged foreign countries like the United States to keep their borders open to Chinese citizens, calling it a “test of friendship” between China and the world.
        In late March and April, when European countries like Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and Austria started reeling under the impact of a virus whose damage they did not expect or plan for, China sent them hundreds of thousands of test kits that did not detect the virus and millions of masks that did not protect healthcare workers battling it on the front lines.

        With stakes like these, we cannot afford to speculate. We must remind ourselves that there is no confirmed evidence yet that the Chinese government is directly implicated in the emergence of novel coronavirus.

        What we have, in many ways, is much worse. We have a country that fully understood that the democratically elected governments of the west are accountable to their publics, and would struggle to protect themselves ahead of time without honest and expedient information on the risks implied by the virus.
        Knowing this, the Chinese state decided to downplay and minimize these risks, to lie to the world and to allow the situation to develop into a perfect storm, which would inevitably shatter the fragile consumer economies of our entire civilization.”

        “When Canada arrested Huawei senior executive Meng Wanzhou—whose firm sells personal electronics to western consumers, while maintaining deeply suspicious ties with Chinese military and espionage sectors—it sparked a diplomatic spat involving the US, Canada and China, and led to the arrest of two uninvolved Canadians in Beijing.
        When the Canadian government called for their release, ambassador to Canada Lu Shaye wrote an op-ed accusing Canada of “white supremacy.”
        By focusing his opposition on racism, a pressure point of Canada’s multicultural society, Lu was effectively calling on the ethnic Chinese minority to support his government against their own country. Lu’s cynical stroke of genius shows that Chinese diplomats are now actively exploiting our taboos and manipulating our values as part of their political strategy—something that ought to be deeply worrying during a pandemic, when economies grind to a halt and societies can fall prey to internal strife.”

        1. Canada, already just a middle power, has been reduced to beta-cuck status under this buffoon.

          The two Canadians being detained is proof of this. We’re completely powerless to do anything about it and Duclos only confirmed my suspicion of their weakness in the usual refusal to be transparent about the situation.

        2. The outright lies about human to human spread, the pressure to keep travel open, and the tests and protective gear that didn’t work are indistinguishable from biological warfare.

          They intentionally made the pandemic as widespread as they could.

        3. Excellent comment.

          Any actual journalism at Reason only occurs in the Comments Section.

          1. absolutely correct

        4. Ah, so now they’re importing NeoClowns to beclown Reason. Sweet!

          I hope they bring in a few tankies next.

    2. Judy Smith started working for them online and in a short time after I’ve started averaging 15k a month••• The best thing was that cause I am not that computer savvy all I needed was some basic typing skills and internet access to start••• This is where to start… More Details

  2. I think Drezner is too sanguine about China’s intentions, but I agree it’s important to take a realistic view of its capacities. We shouldn’t, for example, be overly dazzled by China’s economic prowess based on the country’s heavily massaged economic data. There is plenty of evidence that China’s economy is much smaller and has grown more slowly than the claims of its official data. Its long-term growth performance is inferior to those of present-day Asian liberal-democracies like Japan, Taiwan, and Korea. It may not even be “the largest economy in the world.” And it will be harder hit by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 than its official statistics will ever admit. For anyone who’s interested, I blog about it in “The Chinese Emperor’s New Economic Clothes,” here: https://naimisha_forest.silvrback.com/the-chinese-emperor-s-new-economic-clothes

    1. The CCP is a totalitarian mafia, but they’re only a threat at all because the Globalists enrich them and made us dependent on them.

      Bring back our supply chains, stop protecting their supply chains with our navy, and they’re toast. They’re neither food nor energy independent, don’t have the navy to protect their exports or imports.

  3. As I write, there are more than 50,000 dead from the Wuhan coronavirus. A coronavirus that China lied and obfuscated about in a deliberate, and malignant fashion. China knew the high contagion of this coronavirus. China knew it’s lethality and complications. China’s leaders closed off the rest of the country to Wuhan while allowing Wuhan citizens to spread disease and death throughout the world.

    The deliberate murder of thousands of Americans, and the deliberate, malicious harm inflicted upon our economy will not go unanswered.

    It is that simple. Nobody does something like that to my country and just walk away like nothing happened. Fuck that. Red lines were not just crossed; they were erased, pissed and spat upon by China.

    How the United States of America chooses to respond will be a matter of debate. That we will respond and that the fallout will be permanently painful to China cannot be in doubt. I myself prefer recognition and protection of Taiwan (Republic of China) as an independent nation.

    1. It ain’t murder. If you want to back up that claim with real evidence, not just bald assertions, no one is stopping you.

      Negligence, maybe; still unproven, and with Xi and the CCP in charge, we’ll probably never know. Murder? Get a grip.

      1. Perhaps it isn’t technically murder, but please explain how it is possible to distinguish between how the Chinese government reacted (close off internal borders while letting Chinese nationals travel internationally from Hubei province), and deliberately trying to infect the world with the virus.

        1. Simple incompetence. Socialism is an incompetent literally impossible ideology; why would you expect any individual component to be competent?

          1. You’re going with “simple incompetence” for why they shut down internal travel while simultaneously spreading the virus through international travel?
            Wow
            What a useful baizuo

        2. That is what did it for me = The intentional closing up the country internally and intentionally allowing the international travel out of Wuhan knowing the dangers of the Wuhan coronavirus.

          That moved China’s actions from incompetent to malignant (murder).

          No country on this planet intentionally does something like this to my country and just walks away with no consequence. Not before, not now, not ever.

          What we ultimately do…Who knows?
          That the United States will respond cannot be in doubt.

        3. could you clarify what you mean by ‘close off internal borders while letting Chinese nationals travel internationally from Hubei province’? not sure which period you are referring to exactly. didn’t Wuhan shut down all railway stations, airports highways etc on 23rd january, i.e. internal and external lockdown put into place at the same time?

          sure some people must have left before the lockdown is enforced, but this is the chinese new year where travelling is already at a hugh level to begin with. and i suspect most of those that left headed to other cities in hubei province or other parts of china, instead of overseas. more evidence is needed to conclude that the chinese government is intentionally sending hubei residents around the world.

      2. “we’ll probably never know. Murder? Get a grip.”

        Flipping from radical skepticism to dogmatic certitude in 8 words.

        The CCP needs to hire better shillbots.

      3. Are you this facile? Of course there’s no doubt their actions led to this mess. Don’t be a useful idiot. Leave that to progressive academics to play that role. They’ve been type-cast and excel at it.

    2. “I myself prefer recognition and protection of Taiwan (Republic of China) as an independent nation.”

      You want to inflict pain on China by recognizing Taiwan? Why would the Taiwanese go along with this and agree to take the role of cat’s paw? Aren’t you aware of what a fool the president would look if his offer was rejected?

      1. Do you really think such a thing would be done by tweet? 🙂

        (meaning, a unilateral recognition of the Republic of China)

        1. I don’t think it’ll be done by any means. the Taiwanese don’t want it. America’s ruling class don’t want it. Not gonna happen.

    3. It’s biological warfare.

      The lies about human to human transmission, the pressure to keep travel open, the non-functional tests and protective equipment. All designed to spread the virus as much as possible.

  4. I cannot deny that Emperor Pooh-Bear treats the Islamic folks out in China’s western deserts (Uighurs) like shit, and is an otherwise repressive ogre. Not making excuses for the dude…

    However, more economic interdependence is more incentive against war! And war sucks! So what really pisses me off, is the American war-mongers who lust after trade wars, on the theory that it will fend off shooting wars! Bullshit, it will! Treating others suspiciously and badly, all them time, as potential enemies, is a quick way to MAKE enemies!

    For all of ye China trade-war-mongers… See below…

    So they don’t play by the exact rules that we’d like them to play by. When you are 15 and your little brother is 5, when you play chess with him, you give up your rook or queen (handicap yourself a wee tad) to let him catch up with your chess skills… If you treasure long-term peace in the family, that is… If you want little brother to get along with you when you are 30 and he is 20, and so on. Or, when you play golf with a business partner, and he sucks at golf, you cut him a few breaks. It’s called “getting along with others”. Do YOU want a shooting war with China? It’s where we’re headed, if The Donald doesn’t stop, and Congress doesn’t take back the powers that belong to Congress!

    Sometimes we need to have the humility to acknowledge that we cannot control others… We can only control ourselves!
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_China
    GDP per capita
    Increase $10,153 (nominal; 2019 est.)
    USA GDP per capita : 59,531.66 USD (2017)

    We are about 6 times as wealthy as they are!!! HOW MUCH MORE per-capita wealth do YOU want to have, compared to the Chinese, before you are willing to be a wee tad less greedy, nationalistic, and selfish? Maybe we should FIGHT a little less, and COOPERATE a wee tad more? And NOT try always to tell others what to do and not do? Be a little less Trump-ish, in other words? I think more cooperation and less competition would be in order here! Trump is flushing the world economy down the crapper, if there’s no stop to the trade wars!

    Really now… HOW MUCH more wealthy, per capita, are we going to have to be, before you’d consent to being more graceful, and not insisting that they play precisely by our rules?

    1. Pay for the victims then. Open your wallet thug, pay for those you would sacrifice for cooperation. We all see you can scream for more blood. Pay up

      1. My ego is so pitifully small, that I will now, and forever, resist the temptation to even pretend to pretend to be all things to all organisms (or even all people) everywhere! Victimhood is more common than dirt, and (real or imagined) victimhood and suffering resides everywhere! NO ONE can fix it all, or even a very significant fraction thereof!

        Only liars and politicians (but I repeat myself) will even pretend, even fleetingly, to be all things to all sufferers! And, the vast majority of the time, their “fix” will be “top men” imposing their supposedly-benevolent will, through violence or the threat thereof, to coerce all the lesser beings, to conform to the will of the Morally Superior Ones! Count me out, please!

    2. That’s besides the point. America’s advantage is clear and it will remain so long-term. China’s own internal problems will ensure America’s dominance over the paper tiger.

      The point, for me, is simple. They put the world in peril and this article pretty much skated and glossed around this major eye-opening event. What we’re going through is incredibly shocking and stressful. They must be held to account. Even now they’re not taking an ounce of responsibility instead choosing to lash out.

      In others, fuck them.

    3. “Enriching totalitarians is the way to avoid war!”

      If only we had enriched Stalin more, the Soviet Union would have made the world a Paradise!

  5. The fact that the #TrumpVirus may technically have originated in China really doesn’t change anything. The major current international crisis is the same one we’ve been dealing with for the past few years — the President of the United States has been a Russian intelligence asset since 1987.

    #LibertariansForGettingToughWithRussia
    #LibertariansAgainstSinophobia

    1. The mix of the two didn’t really work.

  6. Supply interruptions caused by disease or political issues have come to be noticed lately. An obvious solution for everybody is to spread out manufactures using cheap labor over many countries. China’s one child policy has begun to bear fruit, and the labor force is starting to shrink. That loss in working age people will accelerate in the next decade, causing rising wages in China.
    China will not be as important in future as it seems now.

  7. U.S. policy makers need to restore their faith in the free enterprise system that made us the world’s richest country in the first place and worry less about the Middle Kingdom.

    The central planners in Washington for some strange reason have lost their faith that free markets are superior to central planning? How very odd. No, wait, not “odd”, I meant “predictable”. And by predictable, I mean “No shit, Sherlock”. They’re all central planners with no grasp of spontaneous order, every single one of them believes a top-down order with the right Top Men is obviously more efficient than the chaos and inefficiency of just letting everybody run around doing as they please. And of course every single one of them believes they are the right Top Men. There’s really very little principled difference between Bernie Sanders and Mitch McConnell and Nancy Pelosi – they all think the world would be a much better place if they were running it. They just disagree on the details of how it should be run.

    1. And… Jerryskids nails it AGAIN!!!

      Sometimes I wonder what would happen to the human brain and body, if the “top 350” neurons on my brain of 100 to 200 billion or so neurons, decided that THEY were gonna boss ALL of the neurons around! And THEN, to top it all off, this super-brain, as commanded by the super-neurons, would tell EVERY LAST LOUSY CELL IN MY BODY how many sugar molecules to cram into the Krebs cycle, EVERY SINGLE SECOND!

      I wonder how well that would work?

    2. PS, I also notice that Momma Nature does a pretty good job, even though the wolves decide how many bunnies to eat, or not eat, and the bunnies do the same things with blades of brass and carrots… No “top men” in sight… And it works very well!

    3. Very bang on. US politicians have no more faith in free markets than Xi; or rather, they have the same faith, both qualitative and quantitative: it scares them because they can’t control it, and they are arrogant enough to think they can control it with just a little more government intrusion.

      I myself look forward to adding another 5 billion or so people in Asia and Africa to the stock of innovating societies. Look how far tech has progressed with less than a billion in the West and the East Asian tigers; Adding 5 billion would boom the world’s tech and economies far beyond any imagination today. Their different attitudes would add incredible diversity to STEM fields, and because you don’t need more scientists and engineers for the same old current fields, most of those new scientists and engineers would be pushing brand new ideas in brand new fields.

      1. Utopia’s just a day away

        1. Nice to see all those suspended accounts.
          Big Tech: doing what their chicom masters want

      2. What we are finding is that the Chinese University system is nothing but a diploma mill. We had a PhD from China, supposedly well published and versed in research methods. His name appeared on a number of peer reviewer literature from Asian animal science journals. Turns out it was all bunk. He had never touched the machines he had supposedly used and his knowledge of basic lab techniques, basic animal science etc was less than our undergraduate technicians.

        1. It was so bad that our department asked us to stop referencing Chinese research because we couldn’t verify the validity of it and my major professor swore never to take on another Chinese student.

        2. A lot of places are like that which is why post graduate positions and medical residencies in the US are sought after.

        3. I can second this. More than a decade ago, we hired a Ph.D. from China. We were used to getting sub-par Ph.D.s or Ph.D.s who’s cultural differences undermined their intellect or research prowess, but this one was incredible. It was like an illegal immigrant situation where we hired one person but got another. I was thinking one day that I’d be surprised if the guy knew how to tie his shoes when I realized he only wore loafers.

    4. It’s obscene to call trade with Slave Emperor Xi “free enterprise”.

      His slaves are not free. Libertarianism does *not* mean keeping your slave labor offshore.

  8. I was wondering who became Reason’s sugar daddy.

    1. China has become Trump’s sugar daddy… But if you pick a fight with your sugar daddy, it may be a good way to weasel out of paying your personal debts that you owe to sugar daddy!

      https://www.politico.com/news/2020/04/24/trump-biden-china-debt-205475

      Trump owes tens of millions to the Bank of China — and the loan is due soon
      The president’s financial dealings with the state-owned bank complicate his attacks on Biden.

      PS, then you can point to “that other guy” to obtain diversion from your hands being in the cookie jar…

    2. “Globalists of all parties.”

      Nick:
      In the 21st century, libertarians are going to have make common cause with the globalists of all parties, with the people whose core value is the right of individuals to move freely around the planet.

      Watching The Brink made me think that for all the other differences Reason has with the socialist magazine Jacobin, it may matter far more that we share a belief in open borders.

      https://reason.com/2019/04/12/steve-bannons-economic-nationalism-is-th/

  9. ” In the new narrative, China is an authoritarian state hell-bent on world domination;” Does not mean it’s false. Being a Libertarian does not mean being a fool about hostile nations that want to back stab you or being an anarchist. Some of the reason writers seems to thinks it both some times or that what t feels like anyway.

    Let’s see The C.C.P claims a chunk of India as there’s ( And tried to invade India over it sometime back in the late 90’s I think.). See map wars from China Uncensored. Chinese fishing boat are ramming Japanese destroyers ( Just check out a few Japaneses web sites. ). And that just two thing from the top of my head on China using violence to get what it wants. And we have not started on Tibet.
    I also suggest Watching NTD News for thing on the C.C.P.

    1. And the US has never ever engaged in any imperialism, is that right?

      People who sweat over Chinese expansionist fevers are ignorant of history. China is a territorial empire, land oriented at its core, even more so than France. French history shows many many land imperialism dreams, but the army and land expansion / protection always won out. Other nations show the same trends: huge land borders trump (no pun intended) maritime dreams when push comes to shove.

      Their ridiculous Nine Dash Line won’t hold water (pun intended). Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, all those countries surrounding the South China Sea are pushing back, and China simply can’t stop them without losing a ton of trading partners. African nations are glad to take their development money; if history is any guide, it shows that actual trade, of resources for money, is a better deal than welfare gussied up as foreign aid to corrupt leaders, bu won’t turn African nations into Chinese fanbois.

      1. If history is any lesson the strongmen in Africa will take those development dollars and become even stronger men while the rest of the populous continues to live in near poverty. The US has tried for decades to do infrastructure projects and development projects. The results have been less than spectacular. Aid groups from the west have also spent billions in microloans, farm projects etc with little to no success.

  10. “Unless we cause one by overreacting”

    This phrase is the cliff’s notes version of like 95% of Reason’s foreign relations articles.

    Nothing bad has ever happened on an international scale that wasn’t the fault of the US

    1. Your over-reaction to this article’s recognition of US over-reactions to China’s over-reactions is classic.

    2. As usual the faggot lap83 has to make some treasonous anti American statement that he thinks will score some points. But makes him look like a fool and either someone born after 9/11 or head in the sand democrat.

      1. lap is a woman, and highlighting Reason’s idiotic “it’s always America’s fault” stance on everything.
        I’m guessing you misconstrued

        1. Who the fuck cares?

      2. Am I really that bad at sarcasm?

        1. You’re bad at everything.

        2. No. Some people have reading comprehension problems.

    3. ” At the height of the Cold War, high rates of Soviet gross domestic product (GDP) growth caused policy makers to fret that the USSR’s centrally planned economy would outperform American capitalism. Members of Congress reacted with their usual aplomb, tolerating the rise of McCarthyism and the blacklisting of suspected communists in the arts.”

      Sorry, I had to stop right here. If you think it was Soviet GDP that led to McCarthyism, you are misreading history.

      The Soviet Union was the vanguard of an international communist movement. One of its specific missions was the *violent* spread of a totalitarian regime of *real* central planners, not the pikers we’ve had running the US. In the ten years following WWII (Generally the time of McCarthyism), the world watched as dozens of countries fell under Communist control, often violently. There were terrorists bombings all over the world. The USSR had sponsored numerous international propaganda arms aimed at workers and children- all dedicated to Bolshevism. They also had infiltrated many parts of government, stealing the nuclear bomb.

      The US was not afraid of a rivals GDP. The US was afraid that a belligerent enemy was working to undermine the foundations of democracy that are required for free markets.

      The one major risk of extreme libertarianism is that generally all markets result in a bell curve where some people have a small amount. and a few end up with lots. That is perfectly OK, as specialization encourages this, EXCEPT when it comes to the means of projecting force. There is always a risk that a belligerent uses the power of the markets to amass these means, and then destroy the market.

      I don’t agree with Trump’s trade war with China. Nor do I agree with all the “Git off my lawn” types who think this pandemic is a reason to pull our manufacturing back to the US. However, it is readily apparent that China has not been acting in good faith. They are definitely using the power of the market to build a massive military- including one that can conquer a true free trade partner, Taiwan. They are also funding efforts around the world that undermine free markets- including in our schools.

      Free trade alone isn’t working. I don’t believe we need to isolate China, but there needs to be a libertarian answer to Bad Actors using the market to enrich themselves and buy the implements of force so that they can destroy the market.

      1. Overt, great post.

        I don’t believe we need to isolate China, but there needs to be a libertarian answer to Bad Actors using the market to enrich themselves and buy the implements of force so that they can destroy the market.

        There may be. I submit to you that private contract law would be the foundation of a libertarian answer. Why? Once people have tasted the fruit of success, they are loathe to part with it and take a helping of the bitter herbs of poverty instead. When existing contracts are not renewed, the reasoning will be clear, and that will create pressure over time to amend behavior.

        The huge downside: It takes decades to execute and for China voluntarily change behaviors.

  11. Man, I hope that was a nice check Reason got. Because carrying water for the ChiComs is NOT a good look.

    1. Tell that to alphabet soup too

      1. What, to scared to do it yourself?

        1. Literally quaking in my boots, you subservient midwit

  12. “There is no China Crisis”

    Synth pop fans are going to be crushed to learn that they entirely fantasized five Top 40 singles and three Top 40 albums.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China_Crisis

  13. Of course everything’s in the short term. Maybe China will decline in the long term. Meanwhile it can do quite a bit of mischief. Even start a war.

    And blaming their response to the pandemic on local party bosses…I’d like to see a bit more evidence that the guilt stops there.

    1. I’m sure plenty of local party bosses are bad people as a rule, but serving them up as scapegoats when things are obviously screwed up is literally a Machiavellian tactic. Employ your ruthless underlings until they get too unpopular, then sacrifice the underlings.

  14. “For decades, successive U.S. administrations paved the way for China to enter the liberal economic order.”

    That didn’t work too well. They took the dirt road through the back 40.

    I’m not sure what your point is? What exactly are you suggesting? Business as usual, where the CCP lines the pockets of bankers, politicians and hedge fund managers? None of those people can see beyond their account balance. They can not be trusted with our future.

    For those looking for a coherent argument with a clear path forward:
    http://www.deepthroatipo.com/the-stealth-nationalization-of-americas-banks-an-economic-whodunit-thriller-novella/

    1. Reason is still doubling down on enriching the world’s most powerful dictatorship.

      What a clown fest.

  15. We have relationship with police states and dictatorship. But the middle east is more of a regional ally and for all their dishonesty, they have not yet betrayed us or the rest of the world to the degree China has. Not recently, anyways.

    If the outbreak originated in Egypt and they pulled the same cover up China did, would everyone really go out of their way to argue for a measured response? No? Because Egypt isn’t the economic powerhouse China is and implementing sanctions or restrictions on trade would be more palatable? It sends the wrong message.

    China is major player in the global economy with a large international presence. 99% of things are made in their plants. They had an absolute responsibility to warn the world of what was happening. If they merely misjudged the scope of the outbreak that would be one thing, But they suppressed information that we had to know.

    Things can’t go back to normal with China. Maybe I can tolerate doing business with a company with a shifty record, but once their lies hurt my family, I would have to make changes. How many people have died due to this virus? Even the middle east shares intel on suspicious individuals travelling to Europe and elsewhere.

  16. So Kim Jong Un is dead or dying, reportedly.
    I’m inclined to think that this is NOT a good development

    1. …and in a surprise move, Kim Kardashian has been named the New Supreme Ruler named Kim.

      1. Kim Junk Kar?

    2. It’s potential for change, good or bad.

      Overall I thought relations with NK were improving. Whatever anyone thinks of Trump’s efforts of personal diplomacy with Kim Jong Un, his death is a setback.

      Just a vibe, but his sister seems like pure evil to me.

      1. I think a lot of people get that vibe from his sister.
        And if she seizes power, she’ll have to maintain it via a show of strength.
        No bueno

        Despite being a pos, Un is/was rational.
        What follows is likely to be less so

  17. The new Washington consensus is predicated on the notion that the previous few paragraphs are so absurd that they should be laughed out of the discourse.

    To be fair – yes they are that absurd.

    Whenever a Trump official gives a talk at the Hudson Institute, a China hawk gets its wings.

    Are you saying XiXi attached ZuZu’s petals?

  18. Well, if I may Professor, our behaviour towards China has been gutless and our handling of the virus they negated to be truthful about a disgrace. In my country, Poptart Lasagne (you know him as Justin Trudeau) publicly stated he ‘admires China’. Which brings me to this line:

    “Even many of our close allies trust Xi Jinping more than Donald Trump.”

    And? So they’re stupid. If they trust him more than all I can say is they’re fools. To side with a dictator for life with a country that WILL NOT change and clearly acts against our interests is the very definition of treacherous. The United States is CORRECT to take a hard line stance here. China must be treated like the Soviet Union.

    While I appreciate the overall balance of this article (and much of it I learned in political science in University back in the 90s), I do think China is different from Japan on multiple levels to the point it’s not even a good comparison. The fear of Japan was indeed over blown but I don’t think not thinking there’s a China crisis is wise.

    We can’t sit around waiting for China to ‘play nice’ anymore. I agree China is basically a paper tiger (its demographics are terrible, its human and animal rights record unconscionable and environmental interest negligible) they can still do a lot of damage to us economically through their propaganda. What part of their not free and murder their own people don’t we get?

    I’m outraged by the disruption in my life. And while academics can sit around sipping brandy intellectualizing the ‘whys’ and the ‘hows’ about it all just like scientists are figuring out the virus on the fly, I ask do it on your time and not our dime.

    I’m just as Whiggish as the next guy but nor do I think free-trade should be treated as though it’s untouchable. Just like people freely choose to not deal with certain bad actors they feel did them harm in a free market, I see no problem with doing the same with China. Or else they’re going to keep acting in such a despicable manner especially given their increasing influence in the UN.

    So if Trump decides to put up a tariff to prevent the Chinese dumping cheap steal on its market, so be it. If he wants to cut funding to the WHO (and its terrorist lackey at the centre of this mess) I say by all means…unleash and send a damn message.

    We’ve become so timid if not weak internally in the West it’s essentially sickening. I can’t stand listening to academics and journalists make excuses anymore. It was cute for a while but at some point put on your Marcus Aurelius hat and stoically and soberly understand that China ain’t our friend.

    So I’m just going to attribute this line, “The thought that dare not speak its name, the one underlying all of this anxiety, is that China’s model of political economy might be superior to America’s”, to having a bad hair day.

    This was a serious thing they did. They forced us to SHUT DOWN OUR ECONOMIES and the result has been misery across the board. I personally I’m paying the price with my business (while the vast majority of people continue to get their damn paid vacations) and I appreciate it there’s at least ONE guy with the balls to cut through the bull shit and have the Eagle face down the Tiger.

    Trump isn’t the enemy here. Repeat.

    I voglio vendetta, understand professor?

  19. There is no crisis. US is just finally acknowledging the fact that we’re in 2nd Cold War against China. The EU hasn’t caught up yet.

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  21. No, of course we, the US and the rest of the world, has no problem with the chinese people, it’s them and all of us that are under assault from the historically stupid communist government that rule China’s actions….I do think we can make a complete recovery and I do believe the communist in China will try this attack again…the world now see’s the profiteering communist for what they are, liars, thieves and morally depraved scum….China’s government will be taken to task, they will be pushed to make reparation and repay those injured around the globe, the evidence demands this be the case…and if it causes the communist government to fall and lose their grip on the Chinese people, the world will be a lot better off…..

    1. Good comment!

  22. The Chinese are communists and predators. They don’t believe in the free market. I have had three personal experiences, with three different businesses, all of which were preyed upon and had their IP stolen. We are fools if we expect economic prosperity to change China. Any more than a successful heist would change the behavior of thieves. For people who know Chinese politics and Chinese culture, the Wuhan behavior of protecting the Chinese and screwing everyone else is no surprise.

    I vote with my dollars and avoid Chinese products whenever possible. The Chinese people have earned my hatred, and I want them to feel it. If enough people act similarly, the Chinese may change their politics and their ethics. If they don’t, let them starve.

  23. Bad timing for this article and opinion. The PRC just launched a very successful biological attack on the US and the world. The US Government and most others responded by attacking their own economies and populations. China does not have to be an enemy of the US but the PRC is a communist Government. If you like the State; you like the PRC. Silly statements telling us that the Soviet Union was not dangerous demonstrate a great deal of ignorance. Sorry, as long as China’s Government is the PRC, it will be a dangerous enemy of the US and all free people.

  24. Until the advent of the Trump administration, the conventional wisdom among the American elites was that the US relationship with China was a kind of symbiosis, part of an international order that left Main Street America far behind, and increasingly destitute.

    President Trump has turned this theory on its head, and revealed the US-China relationship for what it really is. And what is that? Surprisingly, a Star Trek episode helps us to understand it. See here:

    https://walkingcreekworld.wordpress.com/2020/04/26/china-and-america-symbiosis-exploitation-or/

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